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Parable of the Talents Kindle Edition
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|Kindle Edition, July 24 2012|| |
Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Mass Market Paperback
Lauren Olamina was only eighteen when her family was killed, and anarchy encroached on her Southern California home. She fled the war zone for the hope of quiet and safety in the north. There she founded Acorn, a peaceful community based on a religion of her creation, called Earthseed, whose central tenet is that God is change. Five years later, Lauren has married a doctor and given birth to a daughter. Acorn is beginning to thrive. But outside the tranquil group’s walls, America is changing for the worse.
Presidential candidate Andrew Steele Jarret wins national fame by preaching a return to the values of the American golden age. To his marauding followers, who are identified by their crosses and black robes, this is a call to arms to end religious tolerance and racial equality—a brutal doctrine they enforce by machine gun. And as this band of violent extremists sets its deadly sights on Earthseed, Acorn is plunged into a harrowing fight for its very survival.
Taking its place alongside Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Butler’s eerily prophetic novel offers a terrifying vision of our potential future, but also one of hope.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Octavia E. Butler including rare images from the author’s estate.
From the Publisher
From the Illustrated Biography
Octavia E. Butler at age thirteen
Butler began writing the year before when a science fiction film—the cult favorite Devil Girl from Mars—inspired her to create something of her own.
Parable of the Sower book tour
Butler on a book tour for Parable of the Sower in New York City in 1993.
Octavia E. Butler's legacy
When Butler passed away in 2006, the New York Times eulogized her as a world-renowned author whose science fiction explored 'far-reaching issues of race, sex, power and, ultimately, what it means to be human.'
-- DENVER POST--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B008HALPHC
- Publisher : Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (July 24 2012)
- Language : English
- File size : 5558 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 434 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #14,062 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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An excellent dystopian novel.
*Keep in mind I'm just your average book worm, who likes to read. Not a Phd in Lit whose here to give a full-length thesis style critique.
Top reviews from other countries
Nearly all of the story occurs within a prison camp and given the narrative style this is told largely through diary entries listing abuses by the guards, including torture, many rapes, and the (inadvertent?) death of several characters. These events are unpleasant to hear about and not very original. Moreover, a diary was poor choice of narrative device for these scenes because events that should be exciting and emotionally charged do not happen in real time, but are described through great dumps of exposition. As a result it is boring to read the abusive scenes are stripped of nearly all the emotional significance.
In my view this book should have been rejected by the publisher and the author advised to substantially rework it. The narrative can't decide if it is a story about a religious cult and their internment in an abusive prison camp run by religious extremists (a social and political commentary story that requires exploration of multiple interned characters and involves a number of action scenes), or a story about the family relationships of the central character (an individual story centred on emotions). As it is the novel falls between two stools, so neither of the stories is properly developed. I would only recommend this book as a cautionary example for overconfident novelists!
It begins five years after the settlement of Acorn, the Earthseed community founded at the end of the first book, and initially shows us the ways in which the community has grown and adapted to the ongoing social collapse that is taking place in the rest of the United States. For a short while life in the community seems good, though there is an undercurrent of possible danger presented in the form of Presidential hopeful Andrew Steele Jarrett, a Christian hardliner who believes that only a return to 'traditional Christian values' will help the country return to its former glory. Even despite Acorn's success, Lauren is also fighting against her own husband's desire to move them away from the community to somewhere 'safer', especially after she becomes pregnant; his fear of the future works directly in opposition to her inherent optimism, and the reader is given a deeper understanding of both sides of the argument as a result of their interaction.
Things begin to fall apart when Jarrett is elected as President, and shortly afterwards the community is attacked by a group of Christian America (CA) Crusaders, the members of the community enslaved. This is where the novel enters its darkest phase as we are given first hand accounts of the abuses meted out on Lauren's people. The children of the community, including Lauren's newborn baby, are taken away, and the men and women of the community are segregated and kept apart. Everything they have built for themselves is torn down and destroyed, and Acorn itself is transformed into a concentration camp, rapidly populated with new internees as the CA Crusaders seek to enslave and dehumanise those they see as a threat to their Christian traditions.
The third act of the novel begins with the prisoners at Acorn winning their freedom, though there is a sense of deus ex machina interjected at this point; the slavers themselves are rendered all but impotent when their living quarters are demolished as a result of a mudslide, allowing the prisoners to break free of their chains and escape. Lauren then sets out to locate and rescue as many of the lost children as possible, particularly her own lost daughter. Along the way we're given a broader picture of the world beyond the confines of Acorn, and it's suggested that those on the outside either don't care about the atrocities being committed by the Crusaders or simply aren't willing to believe that they'd be capable of such acts.
Lauren finally finds her daughter several years later, though the meeting between them is somewhat bittersweet. During her travels Lauren has managed to sow the seeds of a much larger Earthseed movement, while her daughter has been raised in a predominantly Christian manner, albeit while maintaining a degree of skepticism along the way. While there's no happy reunion between them, there is a reconciliation of sorts.
The narrative throughout the book alternates between the voice of Lauren herself, in the form of journal entries, and the voice of her daughter, Larkin, who we eventually learn has been separated from her mother for most of her life. By juxtaposing the two voices in this way we get a strong sense that while Larkin admires and respects the achievements of her mother, it's made clear that she doesn't necessarily agree with her mother's motives and beliefs.
In conclusion, if Parable of the Sower was a dark and disturbing read, this book is even more so. For that reason I'd consider it to outstanding, and definitely worth a read, though it should be noted that some of the themes the book explores may be triggering for some readers.
This is a book that speaks to the here and now. If you're concerned about what is happening in the world today, read it. If you have ever asked yourself about religion and the function it serves in our society, read it. If you just like a good book with a strong storyline, read it. It can offer something on all of these levels, and personally speaking, I have yet to stop thinking about the questions it raises.